Morning Links: Day 44 of lockout

We are a little late, but it's still morning somewhere.

  • Jack Johnson posted a passionate blog about the lockout expressing his desire to play hockey, his limited opportunity to do his job and his disappointment that owners are trying to dismantle existing contracts – all on a site linked off of NHL.com. (USA Today)

  • Ken Dryden said both sides are to blame if the NHL loses the entire season to labor negotiations. “They have to understand this is not make-or-break. … This is not survival – real or imagined – on either side of it. Both are doing well enough. … And after you’ve lost one season in 2004, you can’t lose another without it being a defeat for both sides, a failure for both sides.” (Calgary Sun)

  • Blackhawks players believe the NHL’s canceling of November’s games was just a scare tactic. “If there’s a deal reached tomorrow, they can un-cancel those games, so I don’t think it really means too much,” said Patrick Kane. Jonathan Toews added,” It’s been proven over time they’re on a timeline and they’re waiting to see how much they can squeeze us for.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

  • Roberto Luongo refused to speculate about where he will be playing next season when talking to the media at a World Series of Poker circuit event, but said he never game the Canucks a list of teams he was willing to be traded too, they simply spoke about certain teams. (Vancouver Sun)

  • With plenty of time on their hands during the lockout, Rangers teammates Brad Richards, Henrik Lundqvist, Brian Boyle and Michael Del Zotto did a fashion spread in Esquire magazine. (Esquire)

  • Brian Gionta didn’t believe the NHL was serious about saving an 82-game season with its last proposal. “If they really wanted to save 82 games, they should have started the process back in August or September or, at the very least, been willing to hash things out between the [players’] offers. To recess for 10 minutes then come back and say, ‘No, on all accounts,’ then say, ‘We have nothing new to say,’ and then sit for a week, it seems kind of like a scare tactic or posturing on their side.” (Montreal Gazette)

  • Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov injured his ribs in a collision at the boards and may be returning to Montreal. (Montreal Gazette)

  • Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback will play in Finland for Ilves Tampere for the duration of the lockout, according to his agent. (Tampa Bay Times)

  • The Jets’ Blake Wheeler signed with EHC Red Bull Munchen of the German Elite League and is expected to join the team this week. (Winnipeg Free Press)